Last week I presented Walt Disney’s strategy for creating and “making dreams come true.” Well, what if we are not dreamers, or nothing seems to come of our dreams when we do? The question this week is… What stops us? What gets in the way of dreaming, or actually making our dreams a reality?
I hope in your reflections last week you were able to discern what your preference is—dreamer, realist or critic. If not, ask a friend or family member, they’re often pretty astute. Most people know if they lean towards dreaming of possibilities or are more matter-of-fact, down to earth kind of folks.
The critic is something we all can do, but some people do it automatically and consistently. They always notice what won’t work or the obstacles and down-side of something. When we get stuck in any one of these perspectives it is limiting.
So what locks us into one perspective perspective over the others?
Usually it’s our past experiences, be they positive or negative. If we take a perspective and it pays off, then our system notices this and locks it in as valuable. For example being sensible and realistic can be rewarded by adults, especially in the “formative years.” Parents often resonate with, and appreciate a child taking the same perspective as themselves. In contrast, taking a different perspective is often not valued or even criticized. If, on the other hand, a child is a “dreamer,” parents will often worry about this child and their chances for success in life. Have you ever experienced criticism for being a dreamer or off in “fantasyland?”
As we grow up we accumulate more and more experiences which influence us. Our past failures, poor decisions, times of gullibility/naivety, or a history of not completing/following through will influence how we move forward in life.
I remember consulting with a business owner who had experienced bankruptcy. Although this experience was long over, it was so painful it stopped him from taking any chances in the present. It was as if his system was saying, “We don’t want to ever experience that kind of emotional pain again, and therefore we are not taking any chances from now on.” He wasn’t able to fully trust his own judgement because his trust in himself was so badly shaken. It’s easy to see the predicament this man was in: wanting to move forward with confidence and creativity, and yet deathly afraid of making a mistake.
What experiences would you say are locked in the “vault” of your mind, and are not allowing you to dream? These experiences often get “stored” in such a way that we are able to not think about them too often. In fact they may almost disappear. Uncovering them is a really important step in getting free of their impact.
Clearly, when we can become comfortable in all three of the positions—Dreamer, Realist and Critic—our ability to dream big dreams and see them come to fruition increases dramatically. So, let’s start with unleashing the Dreamer within you. Just like Walt Disney, this where the process begins.
For those of us who have not been encouraged to dream, having some structure and guidance is really helpful. Knowing this, we have planned an event to support you in precisely this part of the creative process! Feel free to bring someone along… a friend, partner… even your mother-in-law… we want everyone to be able to make 2015 an amazing year, and so…
We’re really excited about this event, and hope that you’ll be able to join us.
How the Brain Works… and Why We Want to “Break the Habit of Being Ourselves.”